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What’s an ISU poly-sci professor know, anyway?


“Good Governors will make the best presidents.” The headline from Cityview last week (Feb. 20) seems to intentionally bait readers for a response with its presumptive prediction stated as fact. This kind of editorial vision into the future makes Mr. Magoo seem like a guy with 20/20 vision. Granted, there have been many U.S. Presidents who were former governors, but to claim any future presidents who serve as governors “will” make the best presidents is a bit oversimplified. Washington, Adams, Madison, Lincoln, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy might disagree.

Even players of the modern day intellectual game of “Who would be on your Mount Rushmore of … (insert the category)” would be quick to remind that only two of the four real Mount Rushmore presidents were governors, and the two that were (Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt) only served as a governor two years each — hardly long enough to have to live with the consequences of their own actions.

The headline probably didn’t win you any favors with the Hillary Clinton backers. On second thought, I withdraw the criticism.

Mike Rowley


The author suggested (“Should Tom Vilsack be president?” Feb. 20) that good Governors make the best presidents. I certainly agree that Vilsack would have a great deal to offer as president, but I disagree with the premise that presidents that once served as governors are a reliable predictor of success in this toxic political atmosphere.

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Focusing on President Barack Obama’s lack of gubernatorial experience as a reason for gridlock ignores the fundamental war within the Republican Party. The President and Democrats that desire to pass meaningful, necessary and constructive legislation are relegated to mere political spectators until the GOP finds its voice. The GOP is legislatively paralyzed due to the uncompromising ideological split that divides the party.

This unyielding divide was evidenced in the reply to the President’s State of the Union address. It required four different Republican speakers to respond, because they were unable to compromise and unite on one message. Speaker John Boehner made that point recently when he said a majority of his party wouldn’t agree to honor Mother Teresa if it was attached to what was once a noncontroversial debt ceiling bill.

If Mother Teresa can’t move Republicans to compromise, its doubtful President Obama, regardless of his past leadership, has a chance to force them to end their obstruction.

Rick Smith


CORRECTION: Shirley Shiffler was given credit for last week’s Book Review, “ ‘The Art Forger’ paints a truer hue,’ ” (Feb. 20), when the author of that review was actually Cathryn Lang.

Send your opinions to Cityview, 414 61st Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. Fax us at 953-1394, or e-mail us at Please limit letters to 200 words or less. Cityview reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. The writer’s address and daytime phone number will not be printed, but must be given for verification.

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